Alis the Aviator: More Reader Reviews!

A book on aviation to delight big and small

This ABC book is all about aviation. The cut paper art is part of the charm of this unique book, but for young readers who love airplanes they will learn the A to Z of different kinds of aircraft. A must have for future pilots.

Barbra Hesson

An Alphabet book that will grow with your reader

Oh the alphabet book…so, so many on the market so how does an author, illustrator or publisher set theirs apart from the crowd? Well first you tap the incomparable Kalpna Patel (aka @ghostfaceknitter) as your illustrator and then you choose a somewhat uncommon subject, throw in a little history lesson and you have a unique alphabet book sure to inspire the next generation of aviators. Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail chose real life pilot Dr. Alis Kennedy as her inspiration for Alis the Aviator an alphabet book full of flying machines, 26 to be exact. While this book is very interesting and will certainly appeal to those young fans of flying machines and adventure but it’s the illustrations that take it to the next level.

The incredibly talented Kalpna Patel creates the most gorgeous vignettes all made from cut paper. The detail in this book is out of this world. Each and every detail in the illustrations is intentional and precise. It’s vivid and playful and so engaging. If you want to see more of her work, you may already be familiar if you ever peak in the windows at Type Books and Type Book Junction in Toronto. Her cut paper designs grace the windows of these lovely independent bookstores and she also organizes the craftapalooza City of Craft.

Now back to the story itself, Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail gives us a lovely flowing rhyming adventure featuring different historical means of flying. This book is lovely for a read aloud or to curl up and learn more about flight. It’s the historical information and photographs of Dr. Alis Kennedy at the back that will extend the life of this book beyond the early years. Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail and designer Kelly Hill’s inspiration to include not only information about Alis, who not only a pilot but a veteran of the Canadian Navy Reserve and a humanitarian, but also information about all the modes of flight found in the book. Such an important choice to ensure this book weaves its way into readers’ hearts for years



  • Miki O'Kane

    Living with an Indigenous pilot has made this book so extra special to us – not only because we love airplanes but because this is such an ingenious way for kids to enjoy learning about the alphabet and airplanes and all based on the accomplishments of an Indigenous woman pilot. It doesn’t get much better than this! The first 6 books we bought and gave as gifts were such a hit we just bought 6 more for other kids we know!!

    We continue to follow Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail as an accomplished author and have read and enjoyed her other published works as well.

    January 4, 2021
  • Karin Doumouras

    Our grandchildren received a copy of Alis the Aviator from a friend of ours and in the last two days we have read it at least half a dozen times. Our 3-year-old grandson has asked me to read all the names of the planes listed in the back every time and his favourite one to “read” to me is “Vampire”. He loves that plane! It was educational for us as well since we had no idea that there were enough types of planes for every letter of the alphabet! Not only was it well written, but the paper artwork is wonderful.

    February 27, 2021

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